With great power…

Opening Statement

Paul Dailing


August 2017

As I sit down to write this column, a new Spider-Man film is burning its way through the box office. Fans of the web-slinger probably will recognize the famous quote I’m about to drop:

With great power comes great responsibility.

Although it might seem silly to cite a superhero (or, technically, his uncle), we could just as easily go with a more impressive source. Similar sentiments have come from Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, the Book of Luke, even Shakespeare’s King Henry IV.

Whether its from the Bard of Avon or the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, power and responsibility do tend to hover around the head that wears the crown.

Which leads us to this issue’s look at the people who lead the firms that keep Chicago law moving.

For our first feature, we reached out to six managing partners of Chicago firms or Chicago offices, asking them how they personally manage to keep everything going at their firms. Our designer Jennifer Jenkins came up with the spinning plates metaphor photographer Lisa Predko brought to life and Chicago Lawyer/Chicago Daily Law Bulletin staff writers Andrew Maloney, Emily Donovan, Lauren P. Duncan, David Thomas, Lauraann Wood and Patricia Manson divided and conquered to get on these busy lawyers’ calendars.

But power and responsibility only work when you know where to place that responsibility. In an era of drones promising everything from warfare to package delivery, and of self-driving cars taking the sting out of “asleep at the wheel,” responsibility is becoming a harder thing to define.

In our second feature, reporter Sarah Mansur went to some of the top personal-injury lawyers in the community to get their takes on how the law can catch up to technology. Who is culpable when a car sideswipes a truck or, as one unhappy groom found out during wedding photos, a drone makes an unfortunate crash landing?

We also have our regular Spaces department, highlighting new and outstanding offices where local lawyers house their businesses. This month it’s Arnstein & Lehr, but if you’ve got a space you want to show off in later issues, let us know at editor@LawBulletinMedia.com.

In this issue’s In Summation interview, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton associate Percival C. Olsen talks about how a sense of social responsibility led him to volunteer with First Defense Legal Aid.

And we also have a Q&A interview with Field Museum of Natural History General Counsel Lori Breslauer to talk about how the museum handles its responsibilities to repatriate cultural items to Native American and indigenous communities around the world.

With columns from legal community mainstays like Bob Clifford, Meg Benson, Circuit Judge Celia Gamrath, Dennis Garcia, Ken Lumb and Tom Demetrio, it’s an issue you won’t want to miss, even if this is the only piece in it that quotes Spider-Man.


Paul Dailing